Freemasonry had been established in Frome before the present warrant of the Royal Somerset Lodge was granted in 1863, a Lodge having existed prior to the year 1811. In that year it is recorded the Masons of Frome attended, as a body the Parish church of St, John, when a sermon was preached by the then Vicar of Horningsham, the Rev. Skurry. There is also further evidence of Masonry in Frome prior to 1863 as appears in a Minute of January 11th 1917, when Bro. A. Duckett on behalf of Bro Palmer, presented a framed record of music sung in the Parish Church in connection with a provincial Grand Lodge meeting held in Frome in 1822, Even earlier than this there apparently appears the following extracts from the Minutes of the Love and Honour Lodge, Shepton Mallet of December 11th 1792 "It was unanimously agreed to have a Dinner on St John's Day the Evangelist, and the letters of invitation be sent to Masters and Officers of the Bath, Wells and Frome Lodges."

The Royal Clarence Lodge No. 560 was the first Lodge of Freemasons to function in Frome, with a warrant dating back to 2nd June 1790. It derived its title from H.R.H. the Duke of Clarence, brother of the then Grand Master, who last later to become King William IV. This lodge carried on until 1833 when the Warrant was surrendered.

The following image is an extract from United Grand Lodge Masonic records. the full record can be seen by clicking here

Royal Clarence

The Bruton Masons obtained a Warrant on November 2nd 1840, and called it the Royal Clarence Lodge No. 695, which was constituted on the 6th April 1841 They used furniture belonging to the now surrendered Lodge No 560, and also the By-Laws; but this lodge did not last long, its Warrant being surrendered in 1851. The present Royal Clarence Lodge at Bruton No. 976 received its Warrant in 1863. From the year 1833 to the year 1863, the Frome Lodge was in abeyance and no records remain, except that which might be held in Grand Lodge.

The warrant under which we are now working was granted by the Grand Master of England, the Earl of Zetland K.G. dated 11th June 1863 was constituted, into a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons under the title of the Royal Somerset Lodge No. 1275. Meeting at the George Hotel, Frome on the Thursday nearest the full moon every month.

William Addams Grimes - Worshipful Master
Lord Edward Thynne - Senior Warden
Malin Messiter - Junior Warden

The number of the Lodge was amended from 1275 to 973 in a Dispensation dated 25th July 1863 and to meet as authorised until the consecration of the Lodge. The first regular lodge meeting was held at the George Hotel on 27th August 1863. Two further meetings were held before the consecration. At the second meeting; Lord Henry Frederick Thynne, the second son of the Third Marquis of Bath was proposed as a candidate for initiation.

The folowing image is from United Grand Lodge masonic records. The full record can be found by following this link.


The Consecration ceremony took place on Thursday 29th October 1863 at the George Hotel, Frome. The ceremony was conducted by W Bro. Henry Bridges, P.G. Swd.Br. (England) the Deputy Provincial Grand Master of somerset. The Lodge held its meetings for some six years at the George Hotel, when members at last thoughts right and proper to have their own premises. They secured, on lease, premises in Palmer Street, Frome. Formerly used as Frome Museum. This was now designated The Masonic Hall. It was dedicated by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master W. Bro. Henry Bridges on October 21st 1869. A princely sum of around €200 was spent on the conversion. Masonry prospered within this building for the next Twenty-two years. During this time, many distinguished brethren held either office or passed through the chair. These included; Lord Dungarvan, Bro. Lord Henry Thynne, Bro. Lord Justice Lopes, W. Bro. R.C. Else.

North ParadeAfter this period of time, and with the success of the Lodge, it was felt that again new premises ought to be sought, this time land and property owned by the Masons of Frome. At last a piece of land was found, which to this day remains the home of Frome Masons. The land was purchased for £100. The building of the temple and fitting it out to its proper purpose was carried out to a caost of £1,400. What a change in monetary value since that time.

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